I like tiny form cause (SFF) inclination like Intel’s NUC (next section of computing) platform, though it is not a usually SFF height around. While a smaller inclination are accessible as a PC, they can also do double avocation as a digital signage platform, a media core PC, or even a tiny record server. Using one of these systems contra support built into a intelligent TV includes a use of a some-more absolute processor, some-more storage, and some-more connectivity options. The device is also underneath your control contra a intelligent TV, where we are contingent on a manufacturer to yield updates—especially in this age of confidence issues.
I recently had a possibility to give Azulle’s Byte 3 fanless mini-PC a exam run (Fig. 1). This compress height is a small incomparable than a NUC, though this allows some-more space for a 2.5-in SATA drive. It also supports M.2 SATA modules as well. The 2.5-in drives tend to be reduction costly and accessible in aloft capacities than a M.2 SATA peep modules. You also have a choice to use a peep expostulate or a hoop drive.
The Byte 3 sits easily on a counter, though there is an discretionary VESA mountain and Kensington Lock support (Fig. 2). The VESA support is customary on HDTVs, permitting a section to be mounted on a behind divided from meddling eyes and hands. The complement has HDMI and VGA outputs permitting it to work with HDTVs and monitors. VGA support might indeed be a good reason to select a Byte 3 over a NUC that typically usually comes with an HDMI interface. The video support can hoop 4K displays during 60 frames/s. This puts it a step above a Azulle Access Plus, a fanless mini PC stick, that we reviewed previously. The hang usually handles 1080p displays.
The complement should support 4K Blu-ray, though we will need a USB expostulate that is compatible, as good as relating software. Cyberlink’s PowerDVD is ostensible to support this.
The Byte 3 is built around Intel’s 64-bit, quad-core, N3450 Apollo Lake processor. This 1.1 GHz complement has 2 Mbytes of cache and supports detonate mode adult to 2.2 GHz. The low-power chip eliminates a need for a fan, so a complement is silent. It can get a bit comfortable if a SATA expostulate is included. A tough hoop can supplement to a sound factor, though that tends to be singular unless a expostulate is failing. Of course, 2.5-in SSDs are silent.
The chip has Intel’s HD Graphics 500 built-in. we found a Intel pattern program to be useful given it authorised control of a arrangement interface on an comparison Westinghouse HDTV we had handy. The default comes adult with a edges of a Windows desktop clipped. This was not an emanate with new 4K HDTVs we attempted it with. If we run into this issue, adjust a tradition aspect ratio.
The $199 chronicle comes with 4 Gbytes of RAM and 32 Gybtes of eMMC peep storage. Doubling a volume of RAM ups a cost to $337, and it is not margin upgradable. The 4 Gbytes was excellent for me, nonetheless we did supplement a Micron SSD (Fig. 3). The problem is that a bundled Microsoft Windows 10 Pro handling complement takes adult a large cube of a built-in flash. There is adequate for applications, and even Microsoft Office fits on it nicely, though an additional expostulate is accessible if we devise on incomparable applications or regulating it for storing files such as videos.
The complement will support an M.2 SATA and a 2.5-in SATA drive, though Azulle recommends that usually one be used to keep feverishness and energy mandate to a minimum. Not including M.2 PCI Express support creates a lot of clarity for a Byte 3 for applications such as a media core or digital signage, given SATA is usually excellent for streaming video.
Even incomparable outmost USB 3 drives can be attached. The complement has a series of USB 2 and 3 ports, including a Type C port. There is also an SD label hollow for removable media.
There is not most adult front other than a energy button. There is a dark IR receiver that works with a IR remote that is enclosed with a system. This is expected to be used on a media core PC. The remote is a minimal controller with buttons for functions like muting and volume, as good as cursor control and selection. There is also a energy button.
The remote is useful with an focus like a Kodi home museum application. we connected Kodi to my MythTV backend that is bending adult to a Silicon Dust HD HomeRun network DVR device. It is useful if a complement is configured for involuntary record in and afterwards starting Kodi, though that depends on your application. Kodi can be commissioned from a Windows App Store.
The Bluetooth support is accessible for wireless keyboard and rodent interfaces. Azulle also has a handheld keyboard remote that might be preferable for media core use. we found it accessible for infrequent web browsing, as it has a full keyboard and is some-more organic than a IR remote.
The complement has a Gigabit Ethernet port, as good as dual-band Wi-Fi. Both hoop streaming video well.
Initial set adult is easy given Windows 10 Pro is already installed. It is a matter of environment adult an account. we cite internal only, though Microsoft tends to pull a web-based account. This is useful for accessing OneDrive or other web-based record services, nonetheless we can use Dropbox with usually a internal account.
Installing a SATA SSD was a elementary charge of stealing a few screws and plugging in a drive. Then it is a matter of adding a screws for a expostulate and shutting adult a box. The plea is that a expostulate is now a D: expostulate unless we perform some gymnastics to make it a foot expostulate and set adult Windows. Using a complement with Linux allows LVM to be used to mix mixed expostulate assign into one, nonetheless mapping partitions on a SATA expostulate tends to be a improved and easier approach to go.
The Byte 3 will not take on a Core i9 gaming machine, though that is not a dictated focus space. It provides copiousness of horsepower for a 4K media center, and that is what we have been regulating it for so far. The VESA ascent support creates it really engaging for digital signage applications.